Newell Sanders

Newell Sanders
Newell Sanders
United States Senator
from Tennessee
In office
April 11, 1912 – January 24, 1913
Preceded by Robert L. Taylor
Succeeded by William R. Webb
Personal details
Born July 12, 1850(1850-07-12)
Bloomington, Indiana
Died January 26, 1939(1939-01-26) (aged 88)
Lookout Mountain, Tennessee
Political party Republican

Newell Sanders (July 12, 1850 – January 26, 1939) was a Chattanooga businessman who served for a relatively brief time as a United States Senator from Tennessee.


Sanders was born in Owen County, Indiana. He attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where he was graduated in 1873 and operated a bookstore until 1877. During that year, he moved to Chattanooga and became involved in the manufacturing of farm implements. He served on the board of education 1881 - 1882 and as an alderman 1882 - 1886. He also served on the board of directors of the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway.

When Democratic U.S. Senator Robert Love Taylor died in office, Tennessee Governor Ben W. Hooper, a Republican, appointed Sanders to the vacancy. Sanders was sworn in on 1912 April and served until 1913 January when the Tennessee General Assembly elected educator William R. Webb, a Democrat, to succeed him.[1] During his somewhat abbreviated service, Sanders nonetheless served as chair of the Senate Committee on National Banks.[2] Sanders was the last Republican to serve as U.S. Senator from Tennessee until the election of Howard H. Baker, Jr. over five decades later. He was, furthermore, the last Republican U.S. Senator from a former Confederate state prior to the election of John Tower of Texas in 1961 (a gap of 48 years).

After his service in the Senate, Sanders returned to his manufacturing interests until his retirement in 1927. In 1922 he ran for the United States Senate, a position which had become elected since his time there, and received 32 percent of the vote against Democratic incumbent Kenneth McKellar. Sanders died at his home in Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, and was buried in Chattanooga's Forest Hills Cemetery.[3]

Much of the information in this article is corroborated by Sanders' congressional biosketch.[4]


  1. ^ Sanders was not a candidate for reappointment, which would have been problematic anyway in the Democrat-dominated Legislature.
  2. ^ The Senate Committee on National Banks went defunct in 1921. See Defunct Committees of the U.S. Senate.
  3. ^ The grave is in Section 3, Lot 182; his death was in 1939, per the Forest Hills Cemetery records.
  4. ^ Sanders, Newell, in Biographical Directory of the United States Congress retrieved 2008 December 26.
United States Senate
Preceded by
Robert Love Taylor
United States Senator (Class 2) from Tennessee
April 11, 1912-January 24, 1913
Served alongside: Luke Lea
Succeeded by
William R. Webb
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Elihu Root
Oldest living U.S. Senator
February 7, 1937-January 26, 1938
Succeeded by
Obadiah Gardner

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